First Lady Joins Chefs, DISD To Promote Healthy Meals (video) | KERA News

First Lady Joins Chefs, DISD To Promote Healthy Meals (video)

Feb 10, 2012

First Lady Michelle Obama joined more than 200 students from Dallas’ Moseley Elementary this morning. KERA’s Shelley Kofler reports the first lady came to watch teams of top chefs create nutritious school lunches.

The First Lady is traveling the country, marking the second anniversary of her Let’s Move program which fights childhood obesity through good nutrition and exercise. In Dallas, she joined students and members of the Dallas Cowboys in judging teams of professional chefs. Richard Blaise and the blue team had just 30 minutes to create a healthy school lunch.

Blaise: The goal was to follow the MyPlate parameters of the challenge. So, get a grain in there, vegetables, fruits, unsweetened dairy and lean protein. So we had to combine all of those things into our dish.

Blaise’s menu included whole grained farro, tomato and mango salad, a chocolate pudding made with avocados. At another table the First Lady leaned in to try melon milk.

Mrs. Obama: Wow. This tastes like a smoothie. A melon smoothie.

The first lady pronounced all the meals winners, nutritious and just as importantly something kids would actually eat.

Mrs. Obama:  I think every single one of those meals would be something that school kids would love, they would get the kind of nourishment they needed. And we sent the signal that good food doesn't have to cost a ton of money.

Antonio Perez and Jasmine Rodriguez were among the students helping the chefs prepare foods they’d never eaten before.

Reporter: What do you think you learned here today?

Perez: That tasty Mexican can be made with healthy ingredients not always like with fat.

You need to try new foods because if you don’t how do you know if it’s any good?

In Texas a third of all students are overweight or obese. Famed Top Chef Fabio Fienzze believes school lunches can play an important role in reversing that trend.

Fienzze: Growing up in Italy I never heard I never seen problems like obesity, diabetes in young children. So schools- since it’s the spot where kids spend the most time besides the family environment- it’s important the school is the number two family of a kid. Schools need the right funding, though. They need the right knowledge, they need the right equipment and they need the facilities to deliver health through good food for children.

The First Lady brought her program to Dallas because the district ranks first in the country for the number of schools meeting the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s top food and fitness standards.

Mrs. Obama:  The truth is that your brain works better on good food. And we need you guys to be at your very best, because you're going to be the ones that are going to be the next leaders for our country, right?

The competition was filmed for an upcoming Bravo Channel segment of Top Chef.